By Carl Norman
The Fort Leonard Wood community helped save nearly 12,000 lives in 2018 and did so while lounging comfortably and watching a movie in the Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center.
These heroes came from all walks of life and showed their compassion for others by donating blood to the Armed Services Blood Program. The Blood Donor Center is one of 22 facilities around the world that collect blood for the ASBP, the official blood collection, manufacturing and transfusion program for the U.S. military.
In 2018, the Missouri-based collection crew conducted 225 blood drives which saw more than 7,500 donors raise their hands.
When all was said and done, the staff collected 5,868 units of blood, nearly 950 more than the previous year. This made blood products available to nearly 12,000 service members and their families worldwide.
“We can’t say thank you enough to those who donated with us in 2018,” said Capt. Patrick Kaer, Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center director. “We know people have very busy schedules, and, on behalf of those receiving these blood products, we thank them for taking the time to care for others.”
Since Fort Leonard Wood is a training installation, the lion’s share of donations came from Soldiers in training here. In 2018, the BDC saw 580 donors from the permanent-party community, and the remaining donations came from those in training.
“Seeing young men and women donate to a cause that’s bigger than themselves shows me our military is in good hands,” Kaer said. “Without them, we couldn’t accomplish our mission and people would suffer as a result.”
In all, nearly 50 on-post organizations donated blood at the center last year. To salute those who went above and beyond, the staff offers its final list of the Top 10 Donating Units for 2018.
No. 1: Marine Corps Detachment, donated 409 units in 22 drives.
No. 2: Company D, 35th Engineer Battalion, donated 249 units in six drives.
No. 3: Company A, 58th Transportation Battalion, donated 206 units in 15 drives.
No. 4: Company D, 31st Engineer Battalion, donated 203 units in four drives.
No. 5: Company B, 58th Transportation Battalion donated, 187 units in 15 drives.
No. 6: Company A, 3rd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment donated, 180 units in four drives.
No. 7: Company B, 35th Engineer Battalion, donated 160 units in four drives.
No. 8: Company D, 554th Engineer Battalion, donated 158 units in six drives.
No. 9: Company B, 2nd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment, donated 154 units in four drives.
No. 10: Company C, 2nd Battalion, 48th Infantry Regiment, donated 151 units in four drives.
“Donating blood is something most people don’t think about until some sort of illness or injury strikes them,” Kaer said. “Donating is a simple act that doesn’t take much time but can have life-changing results.”
For more information about the Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center or to make an appointment to donate, call 573.596.5385 or email Carl.A.Norman2.firstname.lastname@example.org.